Matthew Blackwell

Matthew Blackwell

Matthew Blackwell is an Australian writer and Outback Drug and Alcohol Case Manager & Educator in the Northern Territory.

Outback Australia and the Information Wars

Outback Australia and the Information Wars

For several years now, David Cole has been a minor celebrity in the Northern Territory of Australia on account of his colorful conspiracy theories. While few people take anything he has to say seriously, many of us in the Territory enjoy wondering what he’s going to come up with

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
14 min read
American Politics
An Outback Conspiracy

An Outback Conspiracy

We knew that it was probably inevitable. The coronavirus has leapt out of its urban cage into remote indigenous communities in Australia’s Northern Territory. Within the last fortnight, the virus emerged first in the small township of Katherine, then in the Aboriginal camps of Robinson River, Binjari, and Rockhole.

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
12 min read
Black Lives Matter and the Mechanics of Conformity

Black Lives Matter and the Mechanics of Conformity

The death of George Floyd in May, circulated in a bystander’s excruciating video clip, reignited furious and sometimes violent protests demanding reforms to address police brutality against ethnic minorities. According to the Center for Police Equity’s 2016 report “The Science of Justice,” black Americans are disproportionately affected by

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
16 min read
Activism
The Dangerous Life of an Anthropologist

The Dangerous Life of an Anthropologist

Limping in crutches, his broken leg shielded in plaster following a jogging accident, the distinguished biologist Edward O. Wilson made his way slowly toward the stage at a convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1978. Climbing the stairs, taking his seat, and shuffling his notes,

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
22 min read
Anthropology
Rationalizing Modern Drug Prejudices

Rationalizing Modern Drug Prejudices

Congressman Jared Polis: Is crack worse for a person than marijuana? DEA Agent Michele Leonhart: I believe all illegal drugs are bad for you. Congressman Jared Polis: Is methamphetamine worse for somebody’s health than marijuana? DEA Agent Michele Leonhart: I don’t think any illegal drug is good for

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
13 min read
Health
On the Eve of the Great Psychedelic Debate

On the Eve of the Great Psychedelic Debate

Trippy “Medicine” Listening to some of the opponents of medical marijuana over the last few years, one could be forgiven for thinking that they have never heard of a psychoactive substance being used in medicine before. These people might be surprised to learn that in England the doctor can send

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
20 min read
Health
The Origins of Colourism

The Origins of Colourism

When Solange and Beyoncé Knowles’s father Mathew Knowles was asked in 2018 why he preferred to date women of a lighter skin tone, he replied, “I had been conditioned from childhood.” At least as far back as Gunnar Myrdal’s 1949 book An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
12 min read
Anthropology
Devastation and Denial: Cambodia and the Academic Left

Devastation and Denial: Cambodia and the Academic Left

Looking out across the yellow-washed angular buildings that clutter the inner city of Phnom Penh in 2016, hindsight fills me with anxiety. Imagining myself here in 1975, I recall the jubilant and cheering crowds in the spring of that year who weren’t privy to that hindsight as they welcomed

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
18 min read
History